Updated: Dec 26, 2022
By Allison Wickey
It's time to admit it, I am quietly quitting our 15-year relationship. When I first met you, I wasn’t too impressed but you were nice enough, definitely gorgeous but not that interesting. We lived a very tranquil, quiet life which is exactly what I was looking for and I had you to myself. It took almost a year but I finally saw behind your facade and soon fell head over heels in love. Raising two small children with you was ideal and I couldn’t imagine a better partner. I guess we grew up together, you supported me while I opened my first gallery and stretched my wings. I wandered the trails with you and we learned to paddle board together. We were a perfect match, your hippie soul and love of the arts is what turned me into a raving fan and I was in heaven.
I devoted myself to fostering your creative family and helped a lot of them reach their full potential. I was all in, but I couldn’t ignore your wandering eye. You were clearly losing interest in our relationship as we were growing in way different directions than where we started. I could see your eye was on the prize and financial gain was your golden ring. I tried to remind you that we were here to live a serene life and you came back with the idea that maybe you could become a millionaire and never looked back.
You started advertising that our beautiful home was for rent all over the world and they started to notice. I also feel responsible because I talked to people every day in my gallery and said we lived in heaven and they sensed it, saying they felt so much better when here. I told them that we live in a healing place as our sand is made of crystal! I invited them too, and it ruined us. I watched you get star-struck if there was talk of a celebrity in town and thought it was cute but I knew we were going in different directions when you aligned yourself with a sleazy politician. Were you really that desperate for attention? Yes, he may have had some pull in getting a washed-out bridge or two rebuilt quicker but word on the street is that he greased some palms to get his beachfront home permitted even though it was encroaching on the dunes too much. But ‘hey, he’s a nice guy and he likes me,’ you said. I don’t know him but I do know he kept a large white spotlight on his roof which is against the county ordinance for sea turtle conservation, that was enough for me to not like him, but you turned a blind eye. Imagine, a politician that refuses to follow the rules, boys will be boys I guess.. But that was just the beginning of his destruction, he went on to lead a ruling to privatize our beaches and many of your family members agreed with him.
This is when my ears perked up and I knew that you had an ulterior motive. Who are you really? Do you even like me or did I just make you look cool until you found someone else that could elevate your status? Let's not forget, when we went through a financial crisis in 2008 that was followed up by an oil spill I was still here for you and supported you with my business and gathered lots of other friends to help out also. You were empty and had nothing but family and friends, we were so happy. I soon saw that this wasn’t enough for you, your advertising paid off and soon you started hosting a festival for strangers in our home every spring and summer. Meeting new people is fun, parties are fun, but it seemed like as soon as the people arrived you would disappear and turn a blind eye as our home was raped and plundered for months on end. Why was it ok for your partygoers to act that way but if a local acted like that we would be arrested? Could you at least start recycling all of their trash? What were you thinking?
My friends and I started hiding from the unruly crowds and you led us to believe that having more people would be good for business and we believed the myth. Soon your unruly parties were causing traffic jams - and your next decision is probably what initiated my quiet quitting you - in light of traffic problems you lowered the speed limit to allow for golf carts that drive even slower than cars on our roads. At this point I knew we didn’t see eye to eye anymore, I didn’t know who you were and believed you had completely lost sight of who you are and where you came from.
When you started chumming up to developers that know they can pay off the county to put up their cheaply made neighborhoods is when my safety began to feel threatened. You probably can’t find two mindsets further apart than an artist and a land developer, I knew we were on different paths but I couldn’t quite admit it because I still thought you were in there somewhere. Remember who you were? Do you even remember why we were here in the first place? Because of the sea and the stars, because of the other people we met who dropped their suburban lives and fancy jobs to come be shoeless hippies by the sea with us, scraping together any work just to be able to stay for another year. We live in the midst of natural dune lakes, an international treasure, and also have the luxury of being able to see the Milky Way with the naked eye, a vision only a small percentage of Americans still get to experience.
Watching you nosedive into your addiction to financial gain has been one of the most painful deaths I have ever witnessed, I know you can’t see it yet. I just repeat to myself over and over, I am so lucky to have known you when you were at your best and I really treasure those years of paradise. I am heartbroken and embarrassed for you, but is it my business? As in any relationship you have expectations, but I’ve learned that having expectations is setting yourself up for disappointment and that is definitely the case here. I guess I saw your potential and thought we would grow old together, I never saw this coming. You have made promises you can’t keep and found an entire new family that believes your myths, I, however, have come to terms with the loss, we just aren’t working together anymore.
I have always said ‘Change is good, out with the old, in with the new’ although I am usually the one to initiate the change, in this case, it was you. I catch myself finding something to be angry about around every corner and I haven’t experienced prolonged anger like this since I was married. When I remembered that my anger dissipated after I got divorced I gave myself permission to start quietly quitting you. I don’t want to be mad at you so I’m setting myself free. You will be a hard habit to break and it may take years, but I know it's for the best. Thank you for supporting my family and all of the good times, 30A I will always hold a special place in my heart for you and am forever grateful for our time together.